17 Sep

Shih Tzu Health – Homeopathy

Shih Tzu HealthHomeopathy is a fascinating subject often used to aid Shih Tzu health, usually by holistic veterinarians and other professionals. If you would like to find out more about the treatment along with how it may be able to help your own Shih Tzu stay healthy do read on.

Shih Tzu Health – Naturally

Homeopathy is the natural way to deal with disease in a dog. It’s not limited to dogs though and can be used to treat all animals inclusive of humans. The general theory behind the practice is that like will heal like.

So the cells of an infected animal are treated carefully with a mixture of dilution and vibration in order that they are rendered harmless. Whilst this is being carried out the cells are believed to be made potent enough to provoke the dog’s body and immune system to heal itself.

Thus Homeopathy is said to give the body the tools to heal itself.

Homeopathy and Science

Although the practice works and is embraced by many scientific professionals in the veterinary world Homeopathy has its critics. Some people say that it cannot possibly work based on the method of its creation whilst others are adamant of its effectiveness.

If you are worried about your own Shih Tzu health then it really truly is worth a try. This practice is less invasive than conventional medicine and can have amazing results. It’s important that you work with an experienced practitioner though and ensure the right dosage and course of treatment.

Shih Tzu Health – What can Homeopathy Treat?

Homeopathy can be used to treat a broad range of illnesses and ailments but should never take the place of a proper veterinary diagnosis in the first instance.

There is also a vaccination replacement called homeopathic nosodes that is used in place of a traditional vaccination to stimulate Shih Tzu health directly via the immune system.

Homeopathic treatment is dispensed in small round tablet sized balls. They are designed to sit underneath the tongue until melted. They can be bought at low potency in many health food shops.

Higher potency remedies are usually only prescribed to prevent the incidence that homeopaths call a “healing crisis”. The healing crisis is thought to occur when the body is flooded with too much healing provocation at once which can adversely affect the health of the dog.

Other uses include:

  • Pain treatment via Arnica. Specifically designed for deep bone pain, over exertion and bruising, Arnica is one of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies. Some homeopathic veterinarians use Arnica directly after a dog has had surgery, before the anesthetic has worn off.
  • Bites, stings and other puncture wounds can be treated with Ledum (where the wound feels cool to the touch) or Apis (where the wound is hot, red and swollen).
  • Arthritis that becomes less stiff after movement is treated with the remedy Rhus Tox. This is a good approach for Shih Tzu health when the dog is starting to stiffen as he gets older, usually after sleeping.

There are many other treatments that may help your Shih Tzu to deal with health problems. The main point of Homeopathic treatment as a whole is to nudge the body towards creating the cells which help it to heal itself. Which is certainly worth a try rather than going straight for potentially harmful medications when looking after Shih Tzu health.

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15 Sep

Shih Tzu Mental Health – Personality Prevails

Shih Tzu Mental Health Twenty years ago or so Shih Tzu health was all about the physical side of things. Ten years ago we had begun careful study of dogs and how exactly they think and behave. Today we are well aware that dogs have personality way beyond what we once believed.

Up until a few years back scientists and dog trainers thought that the genetic blueprint for every dog breed, from Shih Tzu to Samoyed, was exactly the same. They believed that all were wolves in small fluffy packages and all were desperate to rule the roost or be ruled.

Some trainers still believe that and hang on grimly to this misconception, yet nothing could be further from the truth. For the sake of Shih Tzu health beyond the physical we must accept that dogs have individual personalities.

Some Shih Tzu want to push their luck this is true. Often this is the adolescent unneutered male who is intellectually blinded by testosterone. Most dogs simply want to find their place in the family and enjoy life in a relationship of mutual co-operation with their humans.

Shih Tzu Health – Personality and Breed Traits

Just like all aspects of your Shih Tzu well-being, personality and breed traits are intricately interwoven. Your Shih Tzu is a companion dog and loves your company, this is a given because it’s why he was bred, yet he will also have other personality aspects all of his own.

He may be confident and happy to maintain that confidence all on his own. Your Shih Tzu may be nervous of some things and need help to overcome such anxiety.

A Shih Tzu can be a dog that learns quickly or shies away from any kind of pressure, he can be a dog that is bold with strangers or only focused on his own human. The Shih Tzu can be interested in toys and playtime or show no interest at all.

All of these things are dictated by learning and also by personality. Just as one human may love to follow sport on the TV another might prefer to get out there and play. Just as one human excels in learning theory and gathering knowledge another may be more than happy immersing himself in fantasy.

Shih Tzu Mental Health – Respect the Personality

Whether your Shih Tzu is shy, bold, clever, sassy or happy to live a quiet life makes no odds. Your job as a loving Shih Tzu owner is to respect any and all of his traits and help him to get the very best from his life with you.

Just as you respect your children, other family and friends whilst encouraging them to both be themselves and giving them support to relax into who they are so should you with your Shih Tzu.

It’s vitally important not to (virtually) squeeze your beloved Shih Tzu into a box that states all dogs behave the same way, because this will be doing him a grave injustice. Love your dog for who he is, help him to overcome any worries he may have whilst also treasuring him for the individual that he is.

There will never be another dog like your Shih Tzu and his quirks so make the most of him. His Shih Tzu health and well-being depends on it.

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10 Sep

Shih Tzu Training – Motivation in Focus

Shih Tzu training can be easy or incredibly difficult depending on one thing – how motivated you can manage to get your Shih Tzu. Read on to learn why motivation is so important and find out whether you are doing it right.

Shih Tzu TrainingDogs are all different, they have varying personalities and different levels of confidence, yet one thing is for sure, every single Shih Tzu can be motivated by something. Even if it’s just a case of “if I do it will you let me go and get on the sofa?”

Motivation is vitally important because not only does it give your Shih Tzu training a boost it also caters to the exact way your Shih Tzu learns. In short, it makes learning easier for your dog alongside making it more fun.

Shih Tzu Training – Testing Motivators

Common motivators are food, toys, cuddles and playtime. Each of these will affect your own Shih Tzu in a scale that is personal to him or her. For instance some dogs may love food and try exceptionally hard for a biscuit whilst others may adore a squeaky toy and work hardest for a play with it.

So how can you tell what your Shih Tzu likes best?

Create a scale of one to ten in your mind and show your dog a series of things. Food, toys, and some playtime then mark his reaction on the scale. The thing that he gets most excited about is what will motivate him most of all.

Food for Motivation when Shih Tzu Training

Food is a special type of motivator for you can easily spoil its effectiveness if you don’t use it carefully. This can happen in two ways:

  1. You give the dog too much really tasty food in training sessions, leaving him unmotivated by the less tasty rewards.
  2. You give your dog too much (any type of) food during training sessions, leaving him bored and satisfied thus with less interest in food at all. This can be in the form of big treats and is exactly why dog trainers use tiny treats and plenty of them for training.

The best way to use food in training sessions is to use variable treat types that keep your Shih Tzu guessing. By varying the reward type your dog will stay motivated for a tiny biscuit and work just as hard, just in case the next treat is a little cube of tasty cheesy goodness.

Shih Tzu Training – Stop Before the Motivation Ends

The moment your Shih Tzu stops being motivated is the point where you have taken that particular training session too far. The best training sessions last no more than ten minutes and stop when the little dog is at the height of his motivation. If he becomes bored of the food, tired of the toy or just wants some alone time then you have lost his attention.

So always stop your Shih Tzu Training session before your dog does, because this will ensure your Shih Tzu stays motivated for a long time to come.

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20 Aug

How Does Your Shih Tzu Training Measure Up?

A great way to check your Shih Tzu training ability is to look back at your own habits when interacting with your dog.

Shih Tzu TrainingSimilarly you can see whether you are training your Shih Tzu in a way that he understands or creating a big jumble of confusion.

So many people believe that dog training is about reigning in a dog with a very specific personality type. Most blame the dog for his own behavior whilst others even rehome the dog because they think they have a ‘bad’ dog in their midst.

The only thing that is true about the statements above is that the dog has a personality. This is a welcome finding with dog behaviorists because most people that love dogs have known this for years, we were just waiting for science to catch up.

When we talk about your dog’s behavior though the real truth is that most of the time you are carrying out Shih Tzu training without even knowing it!

So let’s take a look at how your own Shih Tzu training measures up to your dog’s level of understanding.

Rewarding Creates Repetition

Do you reward anything that you would like your dog to keep doing? This is a fundamental part of Shih Tzu learning. It’s ingrained deep down in your little dog’s mind to repeat anything at all that you reward. This is based on an innate instinct to survive and cannot be changed.

So ask yourself how often your dog does something amazing and you don’t even acknowledge it. To ignore a really good behavior is to pass up a wonderful opportunity to reinforce that behavior and make it stronger.

Attention Creates Repetition

This is true for exactly the same reason as above. Your Shih Tzu will repeat anything that he gets attention for, because to him the attention is a reward. The attention need not even be positive. Simply telling your dog to stop doing something is attention.

So ask yourself how often you give your dog attention when he is doing something that you wish he wouldn’t? If you do it a lot then your Shih Tzu training is way off track.

Ignoring Creates Lack

Similarly if you ignore your dog when he is doing something and he is not rewarded by the environment in any way, then the Shih Tzu will soon stop bothering with the behavior. It’s inconsequential to him and the little dog will wander away to find something that he can do that has more consequence.

At this point you can get your Shih Tzu training into action by adding a reward for much nicer behavior.

Take a moment now to ask yourself whether you truly ignore your Shih Tzu when he is doing something horrible? If you don’t then you are literally training him to do that horrible thing again and again.

The above examples all work. When you get your mind set on them and start to cater your interactions with your dog to these facts, your Shih Tzu training will thrive. Why not let us know how your own Shih Tzu training measures up by getting in touch?

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18 Aug

Is Your Shih Tzu Training You?

Who runs the training in your home? Is it you or that cute little dog that calls the shots during those Shih Tzu training sessions?

Shih Tzu TrainingDo you find yourself wandering from one end of the house to the other to see what your dog is up to and ending up at the dog treat tin?

How often do you give in to those big eyes and that cute snub nose?

Read on to see whether you are doing a great job of training your Shih Tzu or showing him exactly how easy it is for him to train you.

The Shih Tzu is a bright little button. He likes to receive attention from you along with any other type of reward, including food of course. As an innovative little dog the Shih Tzu will soon learn to repeat anything that he does which makes you do something that benefits him.

How Does This Work in Shih Tzu Training Sessions?

If your Shih Tzu sits in a training session and is given a reward, such as a tiny treat, he is going to associate the sit with the treat very quickly. Now if the little dog jumps up and you ask him to sit again, then reward him again, your dog has learned something great.

He has learned that if he sits once he gets one treat yet if he jumps up quickly enough he gets one, followed by another one. Your clever Shih Tzu is training you to give him an extra treat!

To counteract this type of inventiveness you can teach your Shih Tzu that he is released very quickly after he sits by telling him that you’re ready for him to move. This way he doesn’t move on his own terms but yours. The power has been taken back and your Shih Tzu is no longer training you.

Shih Tzu Training in Everyday Life

Another example of this type of Shih Tzu behavior is happening in front of me right now. My little dog is used to me throwing a ball for him in the garden, for a few minutes at the end of each day.

I have only done this for a few days but he remembers it and is currently sitting in front of me, whimpering and whining with his ball. When I look away from his he changes position and puts himself back in my line of vision. This dog is training me, in no uncertain terms, to continue doing something that I have only done for a few days.

Now that you are aware of the Shih Tzu and his capacity to claim any one of your responses as his reward do you think you are really in control?

Take a moment to observe your dog and watch him try and prompt a reward from you with an inventive action. Then decide whether you are actually training your little dog or is your Shih Tzu is training you? We would love to know what you think, get in touch!

 

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11 Aug

5 Secrets to a Super Healthy Shih Tzu

Healthy Shih TzuYour Shih Tzu may be healthy but ask yourself this, is he super healthy? He may have a coat that is soft and even a bit shiny but does it gleam?

Good health shows doesn’t it? A healthy and happy Shih Tzu will sparkle and here’s how to get your own dog to do just that!

Read on to learn some great natural and little known secrets which will lift your Shih Tzu into super health status.

You can put anything at all onto the outside of your Shih Tzu yet unless he is healthy on the inside your Shih Tzu will never look super healthy. The best conditioners and all day long brushing will not have the same effect as a good strong digestive and immune system.

When everything works as it should within, when the vitamins, minerals and fresh foods all combine in your Shih Tzu’s body to grow strong new cells along with a capable immune system is the point that your dog becomes a super healthy Shih Tzu.

How do you get to this point though? Well you ensure that your dog gets all of the specific types of food and supplement that his little body needs in order to do its job. Shall we take a look at exactly what I mean?

A Healthy Shih Tzu Needs…

  • The vitamins in pet food may not meet all the needs of your Shih Tzu. To ensure that he is a completely healthy dog it’s a good idea to invest in a great quality all round vitamin supplement to add to his diet.

Vitamin C plays an essential part in bone and skeletal growth of the dog which is necessary in all life stages but especially so in puppy growth and the later years where joints begin to show wear and tear.

Vitamin E is a wonderful addition to the diet of the older dog and also supports the heart.

  • Digestive enzymes are found in abundance in plant based foods. Stomach enzymes naturally occur in the body of the healthy Shih Tzu. Dried foods, poor diet and age can lead to a loss of enzymes which in turn prevents the great digestion which ensures that nutrients all reach the right place.
  • Fatty Acids. Essential fatty acids include flax oil and some fish oils. This supplement supports the coat and skin health of your dog and is exactly what will create that wonderful gleaming coat and soft skin of the healthy Shih Tzu.

Everything that we have covered above, combined in your dog’s diet will provide that added extra health shot to create a super healthy Shih Tzu. The right food creates a strong immune system so that rather than rely on the vet to deal solely with passing virus and bacterial infection your dog’s body can help your Shih T stay healthy too.

If you would like to know more about Shih Tzu natural health why not take a look at our complete healthy Shih Tzu course right here!

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06 Aug

3 Surprisingly Silent Shih Tzu Health Problems

Is your Shih Tzu truly healthy? Perhaps you think that your dog is completely healthy and happy because he gets regular walks and a food that is said to meet all of his needs?

Shih Tzu HealthYou might be surprised at what is happening inside the body of your Shih Tzu, he may not be as healthy as you think. Read on to learn what could be going wrong with your own dog’s health, why and what you can do about it.

Shih Tzu Health – Vitamin Deficiency

Even when the dog food packaging states that your dog’s dinner is filled with every vitamin and mineral that your friend needs in order to thrive, you cannot be sure that your Shih Tzu is getting the right vitamins for good health.

This is because the vitamins in pet foods can often be a lower quality than those in the original food that they came from. In some cases pet food vitamins are pretty useless and do the dog no good at all.

To ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting a suitable amount of good quality vitamins, at least enough to meet his basic requirements, you can do two things:

  1. Check the food that he eats by looking at the small writing on the back of the packet to check the true nutritional value.
  2. Add a carefully blended canine multivitamin to his daily dinner.

A vitamin deficiency can affect Shih Tzu health quite seriously. Each vitamin has its own job in the body of your dog. Overall the right amount of vitamins, of the right type allow the dog’s cells to stay healthy, renew and keep your Shih Tzu in top health.

Shih Tzu Health – Thyroid Dysfunction

The thyroid has a very important job to do within the body of your Shih Tzu. The Thyroid is a gland that maintains the metabolism and any changes in the function of this important gland will cause problems within the body.

There are two types of thyroid dysfunction:

  • This is where the body is deficient in thyroid hormone and everything slows down. The dog can put on weight, be sluggish and tired or even aggressive.
  • This condition is a result of too much thyroid hormone production within the body. When this happens the metabolism speeds up which can lead to jumpiness, weight loss, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Thyroid dysfunction in dogs is becoming more common. If your dog is unwell or having unspecified behavior changes then it could be a good idea to get his blood tested for thyroid problems.

Shih Tzu Health – Lungworm

An increasingly common finding in dogs is that of lungworm infection. The lungworm is a nasty parasite that left untreated will eventually be fatal. The worst thing about lungworm infection is that the symptoms do not begin until the worms have a good hold of the lung area.

Transmitted by eating slugs or the feces of an infected animal the worm larvae quickly migrates to the lung area when it’s in the Shih Tzu body. They breed and soon affect lung function causing a nasty cough. If you suspect your Shih Tzu may have lungworm then it’s important to get veterinary treatment to rid the body of the parasites and their eggs.

In fact if you are worried about the health of your Shih Tzu then it’s a good idea to take a trip to the veterinarian for a check over. You can also take a look at our Shih Tzu natural health course, I’m certain you will be delighted by the vast range of information it can provide.

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04 Aug

Shih Tzu Health – The Spine in Focus

Are you wondering about potential Shih Tzu health problems? A well-bred dog with a healthy genetic history will not usually show any problems at all. There is always a risk Adult Shih Tzuthough and this is why we wanted to look more at Shih Tzu health with the dog’s spine in focus.

The Shih Tzu, along with a few other small and long backed breeds, is susceptible to a spinal condition, caused by arthritis.

The proper name for the problem is Vertebral Disk disease. This is relatively rare in the breed but well worth knowing about.

Shih Tzu Health – The Spine

Spinal disks are the small sacs of fluid that live between each vertebra in the dog’s spine. When they work well each cushions the single vertebra bone and allows a full range of movement.

When the disks become dysfunctional they are described as diseased. The most common description for this is a slipped disk. Although the disk stays in place the harder outer shell leaks fluid and the dog feels pain and loses mobility. As the fluid leaks from the disk the vertebra move closer together causing long-term spine problems.

When the spine is not working properly the dog may lose mobility and have problems with the back legs.

Shih Tzu Health – Arthritis

Arthritis can be seen in the older Shih Tzu or those which have a genetic weakness in the bone and joint areas. We are all susceptible to arthritis because it is caused by wear and tear on the joints, the Shih Tzu is no different.

Symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, reluctance to jump or walk and a general pain around the joint area. Inside the body, as these symptoms show, the cartilage is wearing away within the joints and eventually if left untreated it will become useless.

Joints in the dog that are most susceptible to changes caused by arthritis are the spine, hips, knees and elbows.

Natural Remedies and Shih Tzu Joint Health

Joint health has, over the last few years, become as related to diet as it is to genetic influence. Lack of good quality vitamins and minerals is thought to attribute greatly to the development and growth of joint changes due to arthritis.

Many holistic veterinarians state that some joint problems can be avoided altogether whilst many more believe that supplementation can stop and even reverse the development of arthritis. Take a look at the supplements described below, each are easily available in health food stores or online.

  • An increasingly well-known supplement for the support of cartilage, used to rebuild damaged cartilage.
  • Used at best alongside glucosamine described above. This supplement helps the body to use glucosamine more effectively.
  • Vitamins C and E. Used to support regrowth of cartilage and general joint health. Vitamin C is also a good vitamin for disk health.

In addition you can add fish to the diet of your Shih Tzu inclusive of sea jerky treats. Fish contains oils which support joint health and overall Shih Tzu well-being.

If you find this article particularly interesting why not take a look at our Shih Tzu natural health course? It’s packed full with information that every Shih Tzu owner needs.

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30 Jul

5 Benefits of Daily Shih Tzu Grooming

Shih Tzu GroomingDo you groom your Shih Tzu every day? Perhaps you feel that you don’t need to as the little dog goes to the groomers every few weeks?

It is a really good idea to groom your dog regularly and even make Shih Tzu grooming a daily habit, read on to find out the 5 benefits of daily Shih Tzu grooming.

Grooming Means Bonding

Left to their own devices, dogs groom each other regularly, as many animals do. They do this because they know that it improves relationships between them alongside general good health.

Grooming your Shih Tzu does exactly the same thing. The act of grooming releases a feeling of being bonded just like the Shih Tzu puppy bonds with his mother.

Shih Tzu Skin Health

Another great benefit to daily pampering is that you can check skin health without even realizing that you’re doing it. A huge benefit of daily physical contact is that you notice any changes early and before they become big problems.

So, when your Shih Tzu grooming is regular enough you also get the best opportunity for noticing tiny warts, lumps and changes on the skin of your dog. Look out for dry skin, flaking and sore patches as they could signify an onset of dermatitis.

Shih Tzu General Well-Being

Similarly whilst you are grooming a Shih Tzu on a daily basis you can also be checking general health, it can be easy to miss the start of an ear infection or a build-up of tartar on your dog’s teeth if you don’t share daily contact with your best friend.

The importance of monitoring the health of your Shih Tzu in this way cannot be overstated. A lump caught early could halt something devastating whilst tartar on the teeth can shorten your Shih Tzu life span quite considerably.

Shih Tzu Parasite Control!

In the warmer months many types of parasite will find their way onto your dog and into your home. Daily Shih Tzu grooming is a good way to notice the early onset of parasite problems and deal with them.

Look out for ear mites, ticks and that little black grit which turns red when wet. The latter is flea dirt. Take a careful look for fungal or bacterial infections too such as ringworm or a build-up of bacteria in the ears. When you catch these changes early on they are far easier to deal with.

A Shiny Shih Tzu Coat

When you groom a Shih Tzu coat with a bristle or part bristle brush it will gleam. This is a dog show secret. Bristle used regularly encourages the skin to release natural oils into the coat with a sparkling effect.

In addition to the five points shown here there is one very special benefit for you. Physical contact with an animal has been proven time and again to relieve stress for people. Dogs are being hailed as therapists all over the world, yet you have one right there in your own home.

All you need is a brush, a Shih Tzu and a few minutes a day to carry out successful Shih Tzu grooming that is great for both of you.

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28 Jul

3 Smart Reasons to Take the Shih Tzu Puppy to the Salon

Shih Tzu GroomingDo you live with a Shih Tzu puppy and think it’s too soon to think about employing a dog groomer.

Generally new puppy owners don’t even think about looking for a professional dog groomer to deal with the coat of their Shih Tzu puppy at least until he reaches a few months old.

This is because Shih Tzu puppies have a very different type of coat to the older dog. The puppy covering is soft, fluffy and doesn’t grow very long at all.

However, there are some important and smart reasons for visiting the grooming salon with a Shih Tzu puppy much sooner.

Reason One – Shih Tzu Puppies Learn Early

From the moment he is born the Shih Tzu puppy is learning about life. By the time he is a few months old and rapidly hurtling towards adolescence, most of his early learning is done.

If he hasn’t been to the grooming parlor or had a comb through his coat before he reaches adolescence the Shih Tzu is likely to struggle with it throughout his life.

If you have ever met a Shih Tzu that curled his lips, struggled away from the brush or wriggled his way through a necessary groom you can be sure that he didn’t experience smart Shih Tzu puppy grooming in those crucial first few months.

So get that Shih Tzu along to the grooming salon, even if he only has a bath and the clippers turned on in the distance, this is a vital learning experience for a lifetime of necessary Shih Tzu grooming.

Reason Two – Shih Tzu Puppies Get Sticky

When his mother is no longer around to tidy him up the Shih Tzu will get mucky. That fluffy and delicious Shih Tzu coat will gather all kinds of dirt, food and even body fluids. Similarly his nails will grow long and need the ends nipping off quite regularly or they will catch on things.

Taking your puppy along to the salon for a bath will improve his coat condition whilst getting him used to having a nice wash in a new area, getting his nails clipped and being handled by someone new.

Reason Three – Grooming is A Bonding Experience

The Shih Tzu puppy that is handled with kindness by as many people as possible will become a confident older Shih Tzu.

The idea of grooming a Shih Tzu puppy early is to give the young dog the opportunity to be happy in the hands of a stranger. A great professional dog groomer is perfect for this job as they know how to handle dogs and will thoroughly enjoy their part in the socialization and acclimatization of your Shih Tzu puppy.

So regardless of whether you think your Shih Tzu puppy needs grooming or not it is a great idea to get him along to the salon. Even if he only spends ten minutes on the grooming table for the first visit, Shih Tzu puppy grooming from an early age has far more benefits that waiting until his coat is ready.

By taking your Shih Tzu puppy to the salon early in his life you are taking the smart Shih Tzu grooming approach and ensuring that your puppy will be ready and happy for the salon visit for the rest of his life.

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